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Methods and Models for Studying the Individual

Methods and Models for Studying the Individual

First Edition
Edited by:
  • Robert B. Cairns - Communications, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Lars R. Bergman - Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Jerome Kagan - Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

June 1998 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
An international cast of the top names in developmental research explore how researchers can use group data to understand individual patterns and pathways over time. Since the dominant statistical models and sampling methods do not accurately reflect and capture the way in which individuals change, but rather statistically treat the individual as an unchanging constant (e.g., as if a 2-year-oldÆs personality is identical to a 30-year-oldÆs). After an introduction to this methodological dilemma, the book shows how empirical procedures can be employed in a stepwise progression to permit a focus on individual children. The next chapter explains how individuals versus variables are not stable over time and how to adjust analysis to reflect this. This is followed by a discussion that outlines some of the key technical details and illustrates the choices that confront researchers in the application of these procedures to longitudinal data sets. Subsequent chapters cover such issues as the value of methodological focus on extreme groups, such as fearful and very exuberant children; ways to analyze personality changes over time, how to combine the strengths of variable-oriented and categorical procedures to achieve a focus on individuals; how to correlate retrospective reports with actual events, and how developmental methods can be brought into line with the study of individual pathways. Each chapter is followed by a commentary and discussion by Marian Radke Yarrow. Methods and Models for Studying the Individual offers readers a guide for evaluating the methodological merits of the different strategies for studying individuals.

Robert B Cairns, Jerome Kagan and Lars R Bergman
Lawfulness in Individual Development
Robert A Hinde
Through Categories towards Individuals
Attempting To Tease Apart the Data

David Magnusson
The Logic and Implications of a Person-Oriented Approach
Jerome Kagan, Nancy Snidman and Doreen Arcus
The Value of Extreme Groups
Lars R Bergman
A Pattern-Orientated Approach to Studying Individual Development
Snapshots and Processes

Joan Stevenson-Hinde
The Individual in Context
Richard W Robins, Oliver P John and Avshalom Caspi
The Typological Approach to Studying Personality
Lea Pulkkinen
Levels of Longitudinal Data Differing in Complexity and the Study of Continuity in Personality Characteristics
Rolf Loeber et al
A Prospective Replication of Developmental Pathways in Disruptive and Delinquent Behavior
Sir Michael Rutter et al
Retrospective Recall Recalled
Robert B Cairns and Philip C Rodkin
Phenomena Regained
From Configurations to Pathways


"This is a path-breaking volume with which every serious student and investigator of human development needs to be familiar." 

Urie Bronfenbrenner
Professor, Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

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ISBN: 9780761914525